I’m finally getting around to adding the ‘And Friends’ aspect of ‘Laura and Friends’. Who better to start with than the father figure of one of my favourite families of all time?
Introducing Russell Modlin of TheModlinsInAlice fame – teacher, AFL fanatic, adventurous JC follower and all-round legend…
Where are you now?
I am in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
Why are you there?
I am the PE and Health Coordinator at Yirara College – an Aboriginal boarding school for remote community kids.
What has been the most exhilarating part of living and working in Central Australia?
The lifestyle is very laid back. The scenery and the “touristy” stuff is good and awe inspiring. Being here with my family and walking the journey with them is something I will treasure for ever. Working with indigenous kids is a constant challenge and I would say there are now more positive things about the work than negative.
What is God talking to you about at the moment?
Not really sure….At the moment I am focused on helping Kurtis transition from a little boy to the middle years of his life… A lot of thought going into this one at the moment. I am focused on preparing myself for the trip to Torres Strait again this year. I am doing a bit of reading on how to be more community minded and focused. “Other centred”
If you had $10,000 to spend on anything, what would you use it for?
Family holiday. Skiing.
What have you been reading lately?
Trying to finish my Masters. Scrapped the thesis and now doing readings (and 2 assignments) on developing a Christian School Culture. I am in the process of reading “Prayer” by Phillip Yancey (2nd read), “Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture” by Michael Frost, “Sojourners” magazine, “Alpha” magazine, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap….and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins
What are you missing most about life in Brisbane?
Family and Friends. The Beach.
AFL tips for 2009?
Geelong and Hawthorn to fight it out for the premiership. Another frustrating year for Lions supporters. Collingwood to be given favourable treatment (18 games in Melbourne!!) Melbourne or West Coast for wooden spoon. Hopefully Richmond improve considering I won a Richmond jumper signed by their entire 2009 squad in a raffle.
What do you think us big city kids can do to get involved in ‘our own backyard’?
It is very easy to get involved in something away from your own backyard. I think our own backyard is what is neglected the most. I know I could be doing what I am doing in Brisbane, but I needed to go; I did feel a definite calling to come to Alice Springs. Mobilise your church or youth group to do something. Your church or youth group is not a social club, but has a chance to show who Jesus was, by doing things outside of jumping up and down in the church, going bowling or having a video night.
Don’t recreate something…send your youth group to “Clean Up Australia Day” “Organise a ‘Close the Gap’ awareness campaign at church” “Do the 40 hour famine” “Shave for a Cure” “Movember” and many others. Move to another town like Alice Springs and work in the town for 6 months or a year…Most of the places out here don’t have enough staff and can’t fill vacancies.
No need to do something overseas, plenty to do in our own backyard. You won’t get many accolades in Church circles for doing something local, but “be a sermon, rather than give a sermon”. The Gospel is not “cool”, so why spend all our time trying to make it look “cool”. Let’s make it “cool” by showing them Jesus…..His answers and his radical teachings are enough for any wannabe rebel.